It is not an easy feat for a cricketer to smash a double-century in any form of the game no matter how phenomenal of a batsman you are and how hard you can hit the cherry across the park. It needs a lot of patience, tremendous resilience, fine character, nerves of steel and an attitude that simply is resistant to any odds. Players who have achieved it, are altogether of a different mould and has been hailed as legends of the game.
However, in this article, we will look at a few Indian cricketers who went on to perform an even-more difficult feat. Scoring a double century seems relatively easier on your home grounds as the crowd is much more friendly and supportive. However, the same feat needs titanic mental strength and herculean calm for any player to achieve outside his nation due to the monstrous hostility faced by him from the spectators, due to the alien pitch conditions and most importantly due to one’s physical endurance as the body fails to cope with the gruelling weather conditions outside the home grounds.
We will look at those Indians who went on to notch up a double century both in India and also overseas in Test cricket.
1. Rahul Dravid
Whenever we talk about Test double centuries, if there is one man whose name stands synonymous with the feat, it is Rahul Dravid. Master of 5 double centuries, Dravid made it a habit to frustrate the opposition bowlers with an absolutely impenetrable defence.
Out of the five double centuries, this man has smashed three overseas as they came against Pakistan in Rawalpindi, Australia at Adelaide and England at Oval. The other two arrived at Feroz Shah Kotla and Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Needless to say, he is hailed as a living legend to grace the longest format of the gentleman’s game.
2. Sunil Gavaskar
India’s real Master Blaster, the man who redefined batting, took Indian test cricketing stature to unprecedented heights.
He scored 4 double centuries out of which three came against West Indies. Though facing the West Indian fast bowlers was probably a batsman’s nightmare in those days, Sunny used to love clubbing the gigantic sportsmen out of the park without any protection on his face as that established a sense of personal touche for the Indian legend.
Out of the four double centuries, Gavaskar scored two overseas as they came at Port of Spain against the Caribbean and the other at Kennington Oval in London against England.
The remaining two double centuries came against West Indies at Wankhede and M.A Chidambaram stadium respectively. India didn’t realise the void left by this man because the mantle was taken over by none other than Sachin Tendulkar.
3. Wasim Jaffer
Though this man’s credentials aren’t as illustrious like that of the preceding two, he probably was one of the most patient and unassuming cricketer, India ever produced.
Hailing all the way from Delhi, Jaffer fought his way up the rungs of the ladder with some exquisite batting in Test cricket.
In an era where batsmen like Langer, Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla were redefining Test cricket, India’s desperate lookout for a batsman of such patient mindset came to a close after Jaffer took over the reins.
Though his career came to an abrupt halt as he was plagued with several injuries and a sudden bout of inconsistency toppled him off the charts, he still managed to garner 1944 runs over a span of 8 years from 31 matches.
He scored two double centuries in his career, one of which came against West Indies at St. John’s while the other came against Pakistan in Kolkata.
4. Virat Kohli
With almost a good 5 to 6 years of cricket still to come from the Indian captain, Kohli has been an absolute behemoth of batting. Overcoming Rahul Dravid, he clinched the ace for the highest number of Test double centuries in Indian colours.
The man has owned 7 double centuries as of now, out of which 1 came at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in West Indies against the Caribbean forces while the other six arrived against New Zealand at Indore, England in Wankhede, Bangladesh in Hyderabad, Sri Lanka in Nagpur and Delhi and finally South Africa in Pune.
Going by his self-set standards, he is very well en route in challenging the sacrosanct podium held by India’s best batsman of all time, Sachin Tendulkar.
5. Dilip Sardesai
Wrapped in the rusty pages of the past, this man’s heroics got lost in time. Sardesai was an influential name in the 22 yards, specifically because of his strokeplay and his fearlessness.
Undaunted by the towering fast bowlers of those times, he had a proclivity of shimmying down the pitch to hammer the cherry as hard as he could.
He too chronicled two double centuries in his life as one of them came against New Zealand at Brabourne Stadium while the other came at Sabina Park in West Indies. Despite showing sparks of spasmodic brilliance, he couldn’t sustain himself for a prolonged period in Indian cricket.
6. Virender Sehwag
Known for his hard-hitting and antics on the pitch, Sehwag won over the hearts of the Indian fans in no time. From singing Bollywood blockbusters to bust stress while batting to hammering the bowlers out of the park to reach his centuries, Sehwag was India’s absolute heartthrob.
This man didn’t just stop at his double century but he went on to convert it into a triple at Multan, becoming the first-ever Indian cricketer to do so.
Another cricketer to beat Rahul Dravid in the race to the Double century mountain, Sehwag managed to chronicle 6 double centuries in his name.
The other double centuries came against Pakistan at Bangalore and Lahore, against South Africa at Chennai, against Sri Lanka at Galle and Mumbai.
Test or not, Sehwag was an extremely carefree character in any format of the game that he played.
7. Sachin Tendulkar
The man whose name will always be penned in golden letters in terms of Indian cricketing history managed to register 6 double century in his prolonged career that has seen other legends of the game rise and fall like tides.
A man who actually played with cricketers of three different generations notched up 5 double centuries in the longest format of the game.
Master of a century of centuries, Tendulkar smashed his first double century against New Zealand at Ahmedabad. He followed it up shortly with another crackling double century against Zimbabwe at Nagpur.
The next of the lot came against Australia at Sydney and Bangladesh in Dhaka. Ageing like a fine scotch, Sachin registered his last double century against Australia in Bangalore.
The echoes of “Sachin, Sachin, Sachin…..” still resonates in our fans who were zealots of the man who changed the game forever.